Warner Bros. Celebrates 75 Years of Batman With Exhibit And VIP Studio Tour [Photos]
Considered one of the foremost motion picture and television production facilities in the world, the Warner Bros. Studios lot in Burbank, CA invites visitors to celebrate the 75th anniversary of DC Comics’ Batman with a special exhibit in their VIP Tour. For a limited time, tour-goers are given an opportunity to view dozens of original costumes, props, gadgets and vehicles from all seven live-action Warner Bros. Batman films, and ComicsAlliance checked it out.
The ticket-only event kicks off in a screening room with a brief video commemorating the iconic film, television, and animation works of Warner Bros. Entertainment. The VIP Tour specifically features the WB Studios’ facilities: The home of 35 sound stages, giant prop houses, technical shops and a two-story museum. Each tour group (10-12 persons) is led by a knowledgeable guide via tram throughout the WB lot, with walk-on experiences where visitors learn about how each facility is used.
A dedicated 15-20 minute block of the tour involves a close-up look at the newly-tranformed WB Studio Museum, which houses the Batman Exhibit. The entire first floor of the museum is dedicated to all things Dark Knight, with an impressive array of staged costumes, gadgets and memorabilia from the many Batman films.
Each movie’s section is carefully arranged to display over a hundred original garments and accessories. In addition to all the iconic bat-suits, rarer and less commonly seen items in the exhibit make the experience a treat, such as the Penguin’s tailcoats from Batman Returns, Mr. Freeze’s cryogenic suit from Batman & Robin, and the Joker’s modified nurse’s uniform from The Dark Knight. Guests are welcomed at the entrance of the museum with an impressive case of 15 original on-screen cowls. Devoted Batman fans will not be underwhelmed by the showroom (Potter fans are advised to check out the second floor of the museum to enjoy the “Harry Potter Experience,” although the 15-20 minute window isn’t nearly long enough to study the entirety of the Batman exhibit.)
Shortly after the museum tour, guests are trammed to a large indoor soundstage which houses several fully functional Batman vehicles, from Tim Burton’s sleek Batmobile to the most recent Camouflage Tumbler from The Dark Knight Rises. Guests are given an exclusive close-up look at the vehicles, including interiors. The only Batmobile not included (aside from the one from the original ‘66 television series) is the vehicle from Batman & Robin. A life-sized Bat-signal searchlight with a functional “switch” adds even more fuel to the fun, as guests can take turns pretending to summon the Dark Knight.
The WB Studio VIP tour includes other Caped Crusader highlights and iconic locations from the movies, including a drive past the façade of the office building where commissioner Gordon worked in the original Batman ’66 television series; the building known as Gotham’s Hall of Records where the Penguin discovers the identities of his parents in Batman Returns; and set props such as the Gotham City newspaper stands. A drive through the WB’s “Jungle” lot reveals a small cabin where Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (the voice of Alfred in Batman: The Animated Series) filmed a scene for the television series FBI.
The VIP tour consists of a roughly 2-hour-and-20-minute experience with an expert guide, although the museum and Batmobile exhibitions allow guests to “float” these sections at their leisure. The Batman Exhibit may be considered a highlight of the tour, but additional additional geeky highlights of the tour include: passing through the “Jungle” where Jeff Goldblum is chased by a T-Rex in Jurassic Park; driving by Stage 14 where the Wonder Woman television series was filmed, walking on to the undressed but still recognizable set of the Big Bang Theory’s comic book shop.
Since Disney, Sony, and Universal utilize the WB metal shop, village, jungle, stages and other facilities, you’ll definitely learn something new! Swap in the “Harry Potter Experience” for the Batman Exhibit and you’ll get a completely different geeky tour. Guests are advised to inform the tour guide what shows and films they’re a fan of so that they can get the most out of their tour experience. Another tip: ask to the see the Batman-themed tram for photos, but don’t request this modified tram for the tour because the aesthetics compromise comfort and make for a bumpy ride.
The Batman Exhibit will be a part of the WB VIP Tour through the end of the summer, but representatives at the facility predict an extension of event dates through the end of the year 2014.